Beautiful Briny Sea Salt meets Stuffed Leg of Lamb

Unicorn Salt

Full disclosure, I am a big lover of salt. As most chef’s will tell you, a dish that is not seasoned perfectly, that’s salt and pepper, is kind of not worth serving. A few weeks back I received an unexpected surprise: a box chock-full of salty and sweet treats from local Atlanta artisan food purveyor Beautiful Briny Sea, along with sugars that I will be using for baking, but most importantly be using for cocktails (watch out for these new recipes on the blog soon).

I decided to try these flavor salts, thoughtfully infused with herbs and spices on a few of my favorite recipes. Last weekend for Sunday supper I made one of our family favorites from Picture Perfect Parties: stuffed leg of lamb, generously stuffed with Meyer lemons, green olives, rosemary and garlic. I liberally used my favorite salt, Magic Unicorn (it is indeed magically delicious) on the outside of the lamb. It was spectacular. Here’s the recipe below, I used about 1 tablespoon (plus a little more:-) and massaged the salt into the lamb before stuffing and tying it up.

Unicorn Salt

Roast Stuffed Leg of Lamb with Lemon and Herbs
Serves 6-8

For the lamb, you will need:
– 1- 4 Pound boneless leg of lamb +kitchen string. Note: Some stores sell this already rolled and secured in a netting. You need to remove this if so.

To prepare the lamb before stuffing:
Liberally sprinkle then rub the outside of the lamb with Magic Unicorn salt, about 1 tablespoon, plus a little extra. Set aside and prepare the stuffing.

Lemon and Herb Stuffing

You will need:
– 3 tablespoons olive oil
– 3 tablespoons butter
– 4 cloves chopped garlic
– 1 cup panko bread crumbs
– ½ cup green olives chopped
– ½ cup raisins *optional
– 2 small lemons cut into small wedges, toss the lemon wedges in ½ teaspoon sea salt *note Meyer lemons , should be used if available
– 3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
– 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
– ½ cup chicken stock
– 1 teaspoon pepper to finish stuffed lamb

To prepare stuffing:

Heat oil and butter add garlic sauté until lightly browned medium heat 3 to 4 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and sauté for 5 minutes until combined. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F

Place the leg of lamb on a cutting board lined with butcher or parchment paper lie the lamb flat top side down.

Place the stuffing into the middle of the roast mounding it into the middle.

Wrap the sides of the lamb around the stuffing tuck in the ends and tie the lamb with kitchen string, sealing the stuffing.

Place the stuffed lamb on a rack in a roasting pan fattest side up.  Roast at 425 for 15 min. Reduce heat to 325 and roast 30 to 45 minutes or until desired degree of doneness., for medium rare it should read 130 degrees to 135 degree F. Once it’s reached this temperature, remove it from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes.

Carve into slices and serve.

salts sugars





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Sunday Supper Recipe:: Buckwheat Crepes


A few years ago, I had the distinct pleasure of working with Sinskey wines and belonging to their wine club. Each month I received wine along with a recipe for a unique meal. One of my favorites was Golden Wild Rice Buckwheat Crepes with Mushrooms and Taleggio Cheese. It’s the perfect Sunday supper recipe, especially this time of year.

Golden Wild Rice Buckwheat Crepes with Mushrooms & Taleggio Cheese
Serves: 10 to 12

You will need:
1 recipe crepes
– 1 recipe mushrooms
– 1 recipe bechamel
– 12 ounces Italian Taleggio or Fontina, pulled apart or cut into small pieces
– 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
– 1 cup finely chopped cooked Swiss chard or Spinach
– Kosher salt
– Freshly ground black pepper

To prepare:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Toss the pieces of Teleggio with ½ cup of Parmesan in a large bowl. Add the mushrooms and greens and toss well to combine. Add 1 cup of béchamel and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Lightly oil a 15” x 10” baking dish with olive oil. Spread 1 cup of béchamel evenly in the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with ¼ cup of Parmesan.

Lay the crepes flat and place about ⅓ cup of the filling in bottom third of the crepe and roll the crepe up. Place the crepes side by side in the prepared baking dish then repeat until all of the crepes are filled.

Pour the remaining béchamel evenly over the top of the filled crepes. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of Parmesan over the top.

Place the crepes in the preheated oven and bake until bubbly and golden, about 45 to 50 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.


Buckwheat Wild Rice Crepe Batter
Yield: 16 crepes

You will need:
– 1½ cups all-purpose flour
– ¼ cup buckwheat flour
– 2 teaspoons kosher salt
– 3 cups water, divided
– 6 large eggs
– Extra virgin olive oil
– 2 cups wild rice

To prepare:

Mix flour, buckwheat and salt. Mix eggs, 2½ cups water and ¼ cup olive oil and slowly beat into flour mixture. Beat until smooth.

Add the wild rice. Let rest for 20 minutes covered at room temperature. Batter to should be thin enough to easily coat the bottom of a pan when swirled. Add more water to thin if necessary.

Heat a 10” nonstick pan over medium high heat. When the pan is hot brush lightly with olive oil.

Use a scant 4 ounce ladle or ½ cup measure to pour batter into pan and roll around to thinly cover bottom. Stir the batter well before scooping to make sure you get wild rice in the scoop.

Cook on one side over medium heat until batter is set and edges start to brown. Flip over and cook for a few seconds on the other side.

Use a spatula to remove the crepe to a plate or simply flip the pan over and let the crepe land on the plate. Smooth the crepe so it flat for stacking. If you will be freezing the crepes separate each crepe with squares of parchment paper. Let cool.

Note: Crepes can be stored at room temperature overnight, tightly wrapped after cooling or frozen up to 2 months tightly sealed.

Sauteed Mushrooms
Yields: 4 cups

These delicious and fragrant mushrooms can be used to stuff omelets, top pizzas, or accompany a nice grilled steak.

You will need:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
– 2 pounds thinly sliced crimini mushrooms
– Kosher salt
– Freshly ground black pepper
– 2 teaspoons thyme
– 1 teaspoon minced garlic
– 3 tablespoons minced shallots

To prepare:

Heat a large sauté pan over high heat. When the pan is hot add the olive oil and then the mushrooms.

Cook for 10 to 12 minutes stirring occasionally until the mushrooms are golden and the pan juices are almost dry. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Reduce the heat to medium, fold in the thyme, garlic and shallots and cook 1 to 2 minutes more. Turn out onto a sheet pan to cool before using.


Béchamel Sauce
Yield: 4 cups

You will need:

– 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
– 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
– 5 cups whole milk
– 1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion
– 1 small bay leaf, dried or fresh
– 1 teaspoon kosher salt
– Freshly ground black pepper

To prepare:

Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon until the butter and the flour are thoroughly combined. Continue to cook the mixture over medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat.

Whisk in the milk 1 cup at a time. Whisk until the paste is smooth than add another cup of milk and repeat the process until the milk is finished. The milk and flour should be smooth and slightly thickened.

Place the pan back over medium heat and add the onion and the bay leaf. Bring the sauce to a boil while whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes stirring every 5 minutes with a wooden spoon. The sauce will form a crust on the bottom so try not to disturb it with the wooden spoon or you will have brown flecks in your sauce. To avoid this, you can transfer the sauce to a double boiler and continue to cook it for 20 minutes without having to stir.

Strain the sauce into a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Cool for later use and store well-wrapped in the refrigerator.

Recipe via Maria Sinskey

Photos by Robert Sinskey

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Big Game Recipe:: Sausage and Peppers

The Big Game is this weekend, and this recipe is perfect for those of you planning to watch. When hosting a party for the Big Game, easy recipes fit for a crowd is key. Keep it masculine, sporty, simple, and in season with my Sausage and Peppers recipe. It’s perfect for a crowd because you essentially toss everything together, pop it in the oven, and serve it right from the baking dish. No fuss required!

Here’s the recipe which is from Picture Perfect Parties, my cookbook. Give it a try and let me know what you think. May the best team win!

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Sausage and Peppers for a Crowd
Serves 8
You will need:

– 6 Italian sausage
– 2 red peppers sliced
– 2 hot banana peppers sliced
– 1 jalapeno pepper minced
– 2 green peppers sliced
– 2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
– 4 cloves of garlic minced
– ¼ cup olive oil
– 1 teaspoon salt

To prepare:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Slice the peppers and the sausage into bite size pieces. In a large bowl toss all the ingredients and mix well. Place mixture into a ceramic baking dish. Bake for 1 ½ hours and serve warm. Garnish with assorted herbs like rosemary, parsley, oregano, or chives.

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Olive Oil Cake, from All About Olives Workshop in Italy

As you might remember our November workshop All About Olives” was literally all about olives. Since then, I have been searching for the perfect olive oil cake recipe. At the olive press, we all tasted fresh press and they also served us the most delicious olive oil cake which they informed us is something that Italians serve their children,since it’s a mild and sweet soft cake. Children and adults alike will love this cake. I tested a few versions, but this one was the winner.

Olive Oil Cake
Serves 12

You will need:
2 large eggs, room temperature
– 1  cup sugar
– 1 cup whole milk
– 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
– 1 tablespoon lemon zest
– 2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
– 1 teaspoon fine salt
*1/2 teaspoon flour and 1 teaspoon butter, to butter then flour the pan
*1 teaspoon powdered sugar for dusting

To Prepare: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 10” spring-form ring pan.

Lightly beat eggs with a paddle attachment in standing mixer on high for 1 minute until frothy. Add sugar beat until fluffy, and add milk, add olive oil, lemon zest and vanilla. Mix for 1 minute until well blended. Mix in the flour, baking soda and baking powder and salt until well blended and smooth.

Pour the mixture into the prepared cake pan. Bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour. Place on a rack to cool upside down. Remove spring pan. About 5 minutes into cooling the cake will drop, let cool. Invert on to a cake plate and dust with powdered sugar.

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All About Olives Workshop Recap


What can I say? Our All About Olives Workshop went off without a hitch. Perfect group, perfect weather, and perfect instructors, Emily Followill and Alisa Barry.


This is Emily’s second time teaching with us in Italy, and it will not be the last time. She’s an amazing teacher and mentor, and most of all, she’s a just a wonderful person to be around. She had many lessons for our attendees and was most importantly loads of fun.


We enjoyed hiking through the olive grove and seeing the olive harvest in full swing. Our picnic in the olive grove after a long morning trekking was picture perfect. It included the ever popular brown butter chocolate chip cookies, Teri’s super secret recipe. Let’s just say they are the best cookie I have every tasted, and our attendees agreed. A beautiful vegetable torta baked by Alisa was a special treat while we enjoyed the sunshine on our faces. We also stuffed ourselves with homemade focaccia sandwiches, so thanks to Teri, we could barely get up to go to our cooking lesson that afternoon with Alisa. I think we would have all loved a nice nap under the olive trees.

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Saturday we all went to see the olives pressed. We had tastes of the fresh press and of course, stocked up on fresh olive oil to take home.



In a tiny village, we enjoyed a tour of a small family winery and then an amazing lunch in the family owned restaurant where 2 sisters run the show. We had crepes filled with nettles and pasta with sausage and greens, housemade wine, and delicate desserts with strong espresso to wash it down. It was the most incredible little lunch stop for our group.


The workshop was a smashing success. I made new friends and reconnected with old friends as we had several attendees who had returned. It really makes me happy that people want to join us again and again. I love welcoming everyone, and I love leisurely suppers where everyone shares stories and dreams and goals. My goal next season is to have everyone join us and experience our tiny piece of heaven here in the Italian countryside. Until then, ci vediamo spero a presto xx


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